Architectural History Research
Past and present research highlights
Diverse Modernities is an on-going project to promote understanding and protection of Britain’s non-modernist twentieth century architecture, ranging from the Neasden Temple to historic department stores. It is being run in partnership with the social enterprise Create Streets. The first output was a conference called British Architecture Beyond Modernism, 1918-Present, which was held at Downing College, Cambridge, on 8 September 2022. The conference brought together historians, designers, and government officials to discuss the relevance of ‘diverse modernities’ to contemporary priorities for the built environment, such as respect for the street, sensitivity to context, openness to varied historical memories, and the creative interaction of tradition and modernity.
Dr Lewis has sought to facilitate further research into the work of A.W.N. Pugin and his place in the international Gothic Revival, first by serving as editor of the Pugin Society’s journal, True Principles, and then through the amalgamation of recent research on Pugin into a new short narrative of his architectural works published by the Victorian Society and Historic England. He has also been involved in organising trans-Atlantic symposia and study days on Pugin’s legacy.
From 2014-2017, Dr Lewis was involved in a project at the Yale Centre for British Art to study and explain the significance of the Centre’s Louis Kahn building to the public during its closure and refurbishment. In addition to helping to conceptualise and produce two short films, he trained docents to talk about the building and oversaw the creation of a dedicated cover feature for British Art Studies, the first animated cover of a digital academic art history journal.
Thesis Topic: T.E. Collcutt
Supervisors: Geoffrey Tyack and Julian Holder
Thesis Topic: Fired Artificial Stone, 1650-1851
Supervisors: Geoffrey Tyack and Malcolm Airs
Thesis Topic: Philip Webb
Supervisors: David Lewis and William Whyte
Thesis Topic: Interwar Parish Churches
Supervisors: Allan Doig and Paul Barnwell
Thesis Topic: Historic Urban Form
Supervisors: Steven Parissien and David Howard
Thesis Title: Film and Architecture
Supervisors: Ian Kiaer and Julian Holder
Thesis Topic: Interiors of Edwardian Ocean Liners
Supervisors: Claire O’Mahoney and David Lewis
Thesis Topic: J.J. Scoles and mid-19th-century Jesuit churches
Supervisors: Geoffrey Tyack and Peter Davidson